Southern Oregon University’s third annual Indigenous Peoples Day observance will take place between Sunday, Oct. 13 and Monday, Oct. 14.
The events start off with a film festival at South Medford High between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is free and open to the public, and – like the other events the following day – is designed to celebrate the survival of Native American/Indigenous cultures and to encourage decolonization activism.
The film festival is just the start, however, as Monday is packed with free events, starting with a salmon bake. The salmon bake, situated in the Stevenson Union courtyard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., will feature food, activities, performances and guest speakers.
The festivities continue with the Intergenerational Activism Panel between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Stevenson Union Rogue River Room. Afterward, a Decolonization Celebration will be held in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Courtyard Stage between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Throughout the day the OSF campus will host a Native plays exhibit in the Black Swan Theatre. This celebration of OSF’s Native American and Indigenous plays will conclude in the Thomas Theatre at 8 p.m. with a showing of “Between Two Knees” by the 1491s. Tickets, which can be purchased online, will have a special price for Native/Indigenous students.
The SOU community overwhelmingly decided to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in June of 2017, making SOU one of several universities, seven states and over 100 U.S. cities to observe the holiday. It is typically celebrated on the second Monday of October, which the U.S. has observed as the federal Columbus Day holiday since 1937. Oregon and at least 16 other states do not recognize Columbus Day as a holiday.
No classes at SOU are canceled for Indigenous Peoples Day, but the occasion is observed through special programming and events.
SOU’s celebration of Indigenous Peoples doesn’t end on the 14th, as the Schneider Museum of Art will be housing a solo exhibition of Victor Maldonado between Oct. 24 and Dec. 14.
SOU’s Indigenous Peoples Day is sponsored by numerous SOU departments and student organizations as well as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Red Earth Descendants and the city of Ashland.
Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer